Russian Ambassador Denis Alipov thanks Delhi for support on WWII VE Day


As Russia and the United States escalate war talk about Ukraine, New Delhi avoids appearing to choose sides

As Russia and the United States escalate war talk about Ukraine, New Delhi avoids appearing to choose sides

Russia remains grateful for India’s contribution to World War II (WWII), the Russian ambassador to India has said as he called on all countries, including India, to ‘stand united’ against the “hidden geopolitical agendas”, in a special message issued on “Victory Day” (V-Day) to mark the end of World War II in 1945. The Russian statement also preceded Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip that month- ci in Tokyo to attend the Quad summit and a possible visit to Germany in June for the G-7 meeting, where the United States and its allies are expected to increase pressure on India’s position vis-à-vis Russia and Ukraine. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), however, said that India’s stance on Ukraine, and its attempt to present a neutral stance has not changed “an inch” so far.

“Russia stands ready to respond to any threat to its national security,” Russian Ambassador Denis Alipov said, according to a statement released by the embassy in Delhi. “We call on all countries to stand united against double standards, hypocrisy in international relations and hidden geopolitical agendas,” he added, in a veiled reference to Ukraine, where Russia is the target. Western countries for continuing an invasion since February 24, which includes the bombardment of civilian targets.

In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke at the Victory Day or “Pobeda” military parade, where he said Russian forces would win in Ukraine as they had in World War II against the Nazi forces.

« NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization] countries did not want to listen to us, that is to say, they actually had completely different plans, and we saw that. Openly, preparations were underway for another punitive operation in the Donbass, the invasion of our historical lands, including Crimea,” Putin reportedly said, according to translated versions of his televised speech.

“Everything indicated that a confrontation with the neo-Nazis, the banderites [Ukrainian Nazi sympathisers]supported by the United States and its junior partners, was inevitable,” Putin added, significantly referring to European NATO members as “junior partners.”

Diplomatic experts say Putin’s speech and Russian ambassador’s message reinforce Russia’s narrative since hostilities began in Ukraine which entered the 75th day on Monday, adding that India must give more attention to Russia and the United States, and less to the others. European and Asian countries, which “do not have as much importance”.

“India must deal with the United States and Russia as the main protagonists – whether in the G-7, the Quad or the G-20. Resolving the war in Ukraine will require a Russian- American modus vivendi“said former Indian Ambassador to Moscow DB Venkatesh Verma The Hindu. “League A should be our target, we have to overtake B teams in league B,” he added.

Putin’s speech followed a day after G-7 members met virtually with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and pledged to end all Russian oil imports in a “timely and orderly manner”, saying that would present their schedule to do so. Among those leading the engagement was Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who has just completed a tour of six countries in Asia and Europe calling for tougher action against Russia for its actions in Ukraine. Mr Kishida is expected to hold a Quad summit with Mr Modi, US President Joseph Biden and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Tokyo on May 23-24, and is expected to try to forge more consensus on a hard line against Russia. US President Biden also announced new sanctions against Russia and approved another arms package for Ukraine. However, New Delhi refused to join the sanctions against Russia and, according to a Reuters estimate, imported more Russian crude, around 40 million barrels, in two months of war than in 2021.

Apart from the visit to Tokyo for the Quad summit, and the possible visit to the June 26-28 G-7 summit at Schloss Elmau in the Bavarian Alps to which German Chancellor Olaf Scholz invited Prime Minister Modi during his visit to Berlin last week, Mr Modi is also expected to participate with Mr Putin in a virtual BRICS summit, hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping, in the third week of June. Travel plans indicate that despite increasingly polarized rhetoric from the Russian and American sides in the war in Ukraine, the Indian government still avoids appearing to choose sides.

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